JF Ptak Science Books (Rapid) Post
One in this blog's History of Women series
By the time this photo of petitions against granting the voting to women in Great Britain appeared in The Illustrated London News in 1909, only six other places in the world had given women voting power: Pitcairn Islands (1838), Isle of Man (1881) , Cook Islands (1893), New Zealand (1893), Australia (1902) and Finland (1906). Admittedly, in the population of nations worldwide this was a very small percentage–smaller still if you considered the figure by population. The idea of universal suffrage was far from being popular, even only 101 years ago, within the lifetime of a few thousand people living today.
There were no new additions between 1906 and 1913, but after that, from 1913 to 1920, 24 countries1 (including hundreds of millions of people this time) had granted the right, not the least of which was Great Britain (1918) and the United States (1920).
The complaints and arguments against women getting the vote have a recent ring to them: the vote for many threatened the home, undermined the scope of the family, would destroy the foundations of marriage, would take women away from their domestic duties, and in general would weaken the nation. It seems as though you could replace "votes for women" in this series of complaints with any number fof different issues today.